Part 18: Where Would You Like to See More Agricultural Funding Directed?

Each day we run three of your responses to the question: Where Would You Like to See More Agricultural Funding Directed?

(Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

1. Gregory Bowman, Bowman Farm and Ranch, USA says:

“Reforestation is the foundation to provide sustainable agriculture. Requirement of reforestation for USAID will be an incentive to reforest damaged lands. Once greenbelts are established, cash and food crops benefit from tree plantings. Valuable wood products provide cash and material for many applications including furniture making, crafts and net zero carbon emission fuels. Leaves provide valuable fodder for livestock.  Without the drive to reforest damaged areas, agriculture is not sustainable. I have written and lectured on the topic of reforestation of damaged lands and have suggested that the US administration should enact a law regarding any funding to other countries.  Called “Trees for Aid,” the program requires each and every country getting any aid from the US to plant and sustain trees/$ provided.  The serious erosion and the growing damage to east Africa needs to be addressed by stimulus aid in reforesting and forest stewardship. Several models have been discussed and the consensus is that only when greenbelts are reestablished to retain topsoil, provide new topsoil, fuel and building supply, and conservation of species, then agriculture prospers and sustainability is possible.  Without trees the soil cannot be conserved and built. Intercropping of food crops is boosted with greenbelts. Paulownia seems to be a valuable species to plant for its unmatched growth, deep root structure to not compete with intercropping, and the value of the wood and highly digestible fodder. Certainly other species should be considered. Gum is not a good anchor species due to its toxicity to the soil. Reforestation to prevent erosion and protecting species is the foundation by which intercropping of food and cash crops is possible. Without it, soils are depleted and agriculture is not possible. Most if not all food crops show increased production with intercropping and cash crops such as coffee and cocoa are greatly improved with intercropped greenbelts due to thermal stabilization, decreased evaporation, and increased topsoil from fodder. The leaves provide more nutritious fodder than alfalfa and Paulownia is rated as one of the top species to absorb carbon dioxide, as much as ten times more than other species of trees. With this in mind, the goal is to plant 10 billion trees over 5 years; this is practical in exchange for US aid. Sustainable relationships based on tree planting as a requirement for funds is not only sustainable but a win/win plan.  Wood products can be used for local crafts, fuel, and exportation. Once greenbelts have been established, agriculture comes naturally and crops benefit from the establishment of new forest.

2. Lucila Nunes de Vargas says:

“I would like to see more funding in support to traditional seed keepers all over the world, because they are the ones who are going to save us from the catastrophe of the genetic modified crops.”

3. Caroline Smith says:

“I’d like to see more funding going to ongoing (not on-off) participatory education/training (such as in leading-farmer model)  for farmers and extension workers in small and medium scale systems that support local farmers in maintaining and building sustainable food security. This would bring together indigenous and appropriate western scientific knowledge so that farming does not degrade local ecosystems with inappropriate and indiscriminate use of chemicals. Certainly would include support for women farmers. Models that derive from permaculture-type design tailored to local culture and systems would seem to be ideal to me.”

Part 1: Dave Andrews (USA), Dave Johnstone (Cameroon), & Pierre Castagnoli (Italy)
Part 2: Paul Sinandja (Togo), Dov Pasternak (Niger), & Pascal Pulvery (France)
Part 3Christine McCulloch (UK), Hans R Herren (USA), & Amadou Niang.
Part 4 : Michel Koos (Netherlands), Don Seville (USA), & Ron Gretlarson
Part 5Shahul Salim, Roger Leakey (Kenya), & Monty P Jones (Ghana)
Part 6: Calestous Juma (USA), Ray Anderson (USA), & Rob Munro (Zambia)
Part 7: Tom Philpott (USA), Grace Mwaura, & Thangavelu Vasantha Kumaran
Part 8: Peter Mietzner (Namibia), Madyo Couto (Mozambique), & Norman Thomas Uphoff (USA)
Part 9: Tilahun Amede (Ethiopia), Shree kumar Maharjan (Nepal), & Ashwani Vasishth (USA)
Part 10Mary Shawa (Malawi), Wayne S. Teel (USA), & Bell Okello (Kenya)
Part 11: Mark Wells (South Africa), Pashupati Chaudhary (USA), & Megan Putnam (Ghana)
Part 12: David Wallinga (USA), Ysabel Vicente, & Esperance Zossou (Benin)
Part 13: Susi Basith (Indonesia), Diana Husic (USA), & Carolina Cardona (Togo)
Part 14Rachel Friedman, Jennifer Geist (USA), & Lowden Stoole
Part 15: Antonio Requejo, Alexandra Spieldoch (USA), & Daniele Giovannucci (USA)
Part 16: Mary Njenga (Kenya), Mabel Toribio, & Makere Stewart-Harawira (Canada)
Part 17: Dale Lewis (Zambia), Chris Ojiewo (Tanzania), & Molly Mattessich (USA)

What is your answer? Email me at or tweet your response to @WorldWatchAg

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